Young people's preferences towards the future of health and social care services in Sussex - findings during the Coronavirus pandemic

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch Brighton & Hove and Young Healthwatch undertook research to explore young people’s experiences of Sussex health and social care services during the coronavirus pandemic and to find out their preferences about the future of health and social care. They had 146 responses to an online survey.

The majority of young people who needed health and social care support during the pandemic have booked appointments.  The main reasons for delaying appointments included feeling that their condition wasn’t serious enough to warrant seeking help, not wanting to burden health services during the pandemic and being able to get information online.

Young people that did get an appointment were more likely to have phone rather than video or online appointments. Most were satisfied or very satisfied with these. The main advantages were around saving time and money for travel and shorter waiting times.  However young people raised a number of concerns about remote appointments, including: anxiety and difficulty to express oneself through phone or video appointments; issues with technology during video calls; remote appointments not being appropriate when prescribing a new medication or treating specific conditions that require a face-to-face assessment.

A high proportion of young people were not happy to receive mental health support remotely.  They preferred face-to-face appointments, as they found they couldn’t establish rapport and communicate effectively with the health or social care professional remotely, they felt anxious , they had issues of privacy and confidentiality of data. Young people wanted patients to be able to choose the type of appointment they feel most comfortable with and for health professionals to take into account the patient's type of condition and severity to decide the most suitable appointment type.

The research also highlighted the impact of the main challenges faced by young people during the pandemic, including not being able to see friends and family, and feeling isolated. Young people also recognised some positives about the coronavirus pandemic that they hope will change society for better in the future, including a greater sense of community and a greater focus on funding health and social care services and a better recognition of keyworkers.

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General details

Report title 
Young people's preferences towards the future of health and social care services in Sussex - findings during the Coronavirus pandemic
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Brighton And Hove
Date of publication 
Friday, 20 November, 2020
Date evidence capture began 
Wednesday, 1 July, 2020
Date evidence capture finished 
Friday, 31 July, 2020
Type of report 
Key themes 
Booking appointments
Cleanliness hygiene and infection control
Communication between staff and patients
Digitalisation of services
Holistic support
Lifestyle and wellbeing
Quality of appointment
Service delivery organisation and staffing
Healthwatch reference number 

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
What type of organisation requested the work 
Other local body
Primary research method used 
How was the information collected? 
If an Enter and View methodology was applied, was the visit announced or unannounced? 

Details of health and care services included in the report

Primary care services 
GP practice
Secondary care services 
Mental health services 
Child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS)

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
18-24 years
All people under the age of 18
Mixed / multiple ethnic groups
Sexual orientation 
Does the information include public's views? 
Does the information include carer's, friend's or relative's views? 
Does the information include staff's views? 
Does the information include other people's views? 
What was the main sentiment of the people who shared their views? 

Outcomes and impact

Were recommendations made by local Healthwatch in the report? 
Does the information contain a response from a provider? 
Not applicable
Is there evidence of impact in the report? 
Is there evidence of impact external to the report? 
Not known

Network Impact
Relationships that exist locally, regionally, nationally have benefited from the work undertaken in the report
Implied Impact
Where it is implied that change may occur in the future as a result of Healthwatch work. This can be implied in a provider  response, press release or other source. Implied impact can become tangible impact once change has occurred.
Tangible Impact
There is evidence of change that can be directly attributed to Healthwatch work undertaken in the report.